Manufacturers group says government policies reflect its input

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The federal government today released a summary of what it says it has done to support manufacturing in Canada, “Strengthening Canada’s Manufacturing Sector.” It was released at a roundtable meeting held in Concord, Ontario to discuss the “challenges and opportunities” that face Ontario’s manufacturing sector. The minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Gary Goodyear, and local MP Peter Kent co-hosted the roundtable with the vice president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).

CME has already said that most of the actions referenced in the document are a direct result of the collective efforts of CME and its members, and the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition. CME says that the “general themes” promoted in the government document are in line with the organization’s “priority areas.” These include tax competitiveness, opening new markets, promoting skills training and advanced technologies, and R&D.

CME released a summary of the “suite of policies” that the government says have helped Canadian manufacturers “expand their footprint.”

Tax reduction measures that CME wanted, and that the government has introduced, include

  • Reducing the corporate tax rate from 22 per cent to 15 per cent
  • Expanding the accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturers that want to invest in new equipment
  • Eliminating hundreds of tariffs
  • Removing federal capital tax
  • Reducing the small business tax rate from 11 per cent to 9 per cent
  • In the area of exports and trade support, CME says it is in agreement with the government’s free trade initiatives with the European Union and with Korea. The organization also supports the spending of approximately $90 million over five years to assist Canadian businesses abroad, including developing export opportunities.

Job training initiatives with the support of CME include the Canada Job Grant, which will provide up to $15,000 per person for skills training, and a program that facilitates cooperation between industry and postsecondary institutions to better align curricula with employers’ needs.

Strategic investments backed by CME include the $950 million Automotive Innovation Fund, the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, a new Automotive Supplier Innovation Program and the FedDev Ontario itself.

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